Borough officials OK grant for sidewalk upgrade in downtown area

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NAUGATUCK – Walkways are expected to become a bit smoother for pedestrians walking through the downtown area.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved a bid for the Downtown Community Connectivity Bike and Pedestrian Improvements project. Borough officials awarded the project to Priority Landscaping of Brookfield in the amount of $391,017.

Public Works Director Jim Stewart said the project would go from Division Street to Church Street and finally Water Street. However, plans would mainly focus on Church Street, which is the focal street of downtown.

The borough would pay for the project through a $399,735 Department of Transportation grant.

“We would be getting some decorative lighting bases and light pole, conduit and wiring so we can electrify it in the future,” Stewart said.

The project would include granite curbing and concrete sidewalks. Work is expected to begin by April and be concluded by the end of summer, Stewart said.

The work is also aimed to restore the sidewalk on Cedar Street, however the project will mainly cover Church Street. Stewart said he would be requesting additional funds in addition to what’s allocated for Cedar Street as part of the sidewalk program in the upcoming budget discussions.

Although the work is aimed at helping walkers as well as bicyclists, there isn’t enough space for bike lanes.

“Not enough room for bike lanes without having to give up parking,” Stewart said. “The road isn’t wide enough to do bike lanes.”

This project comes after borough officials aim to upgrade sidewalks throughout the whole borough.

Public works created a five-year plan draft to upgrade existing sidewalks, with the initial focus on downtown. The borough board last year selected Central Avenue as the first street for the program after a recommendation from Stewart.

Officials have previously set aside $200,000 for sidewalk repairs in the town budget, with plans this year to begin upgrading sidewalks from the Early Childhood Center on Central Avenue to Maple Street.